Nag Panchami is one of the unique festivals in India. At this Hindu festival, people perform traditional worship of Nagas or Snakes in India, Nepal, and other south Asian countries with Hindu populations. Naga Panchami is celebrated in the Lunar month of Shravana that mostly falls in July or August. Naga Panchami 2021 is falling on 13th August 2021. Find the Nag Panchami information in detail below:
Origin, History, and Significance of Nag Panchami
Snakes are worshipped across many ancient cultures in the world. Snakes are considered as one of the powerful creatures due to their poisonous nature and venom. Naga Panchami or Nag Puja in India dates back to 3,000 BCE since the time of Indus Valley Civilization. The Naga tribe majorly celebrated the festival.
In Mahabharata, one of the ancient epics of India, the king Janamejaya performs a yagna to destroy the entire race of Nagas. This was to avenge the death of his father, King Parikshit, who fell victim to the deadly bite of the snake Takshaka. However, the famous sage Astika, went on a quest to stop Janamajeya from performing the Yagna and save the sacrifice of snakes. The day this sacrifice was stopped was Shukla Paksha Panchmi, which is now celebrated as Nag Panchami throughout India.
Snakes or Nagas play a significant role in several Hindu scriptures and epics. Books like Mahabharata, Narada Purana, Skanda Purana, and Ramayana have several stories associated with snakes. Another story is associated with Lord Krishna and the serpent Kaliya where Krishna fights with Kaliya at the Yamuna River and finally forgives Kaliya with the promise not to bother the humans again. According to Garuda Purana, worshipping snakes on Nag Panchami brings good fate and prosperity to a devotee.
When is Nag Panchami Celebrated
Nag Panchami Puja happens every year in the month of July or August. It is celebrated on the fifth day of the lunar month of Shravan in the Hindu calendar. In 2021, Naag Panchami would be celebrated on 13th August in most parts of the country. Since the Nag Panchami festival comes in the rainy season, the water drives the snakes out of their holes, and hence their visibility gets more frequent than other seasons.
How is Nag Panchami Celebrated and Where to Go
Since Shravan is considered as the month of Lord Shiva and snakes are dear to him, Naga Panchami is celebrated at almost all the Shiva temples across India. There are many Nag temples in the country as well that people visit on this day to offer their prayers. A number of real snakes and snake charmers are found around the temples. Some communities also bring home the idols of snakes to worship. People dress up in new clothes, collect their offerings for the snakes, and chant a special mantra. The main part of the offerings is the milk as the devotees believe that it would keep their families safe from the snake bite. Some people also consider it bad to dig the earth and use black iron utensils on Naag Panchami.
Nag Panchami festivities can be majorly seen in the state of Maharashtra. Battis Shirala Village near Mumbai is famous for its Naga Panchami celebrations. Extensive Nag Panchami festivities can also be witnessed in and around the Nagpur district of Maharashtra. Those interested, can reach here by booking MSRTC buses at affordable prices on redBus. In addition to this, the following are the popular places of worship during Nag Panchami:
- Mannarasala Temple, Kerala - With 30,000 images of Nag deities inside the temple, the Mannarasala Temple is the largest snake temple in Kerala.
- Nag Vasuki Temple, Prayagraj - Dedicated to the serpent king Vasuki, the Nag Vasuki Temple, gets flooded with devotees on Nag Panchami.
- Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh - Varanasi is famous for its akhadas where special dangals are organized on the occasion of Nag Panchami.
- Mahakaleshwar, Ujjain - A special Nag Puja is organized at the Nagchandreshwar shrine of Mahakaleshwar Temple in Ujjain, which is open only for 24 hours on Naag Panchami.
- Manasa Devi Temple, Haridwar - Manasa Devi Temple is dedicated to the snake goddess, Manasa, and Naga Panchami is a big event here.
- Bhujanga Naga Temple, Gujarat - Located to the outskirts of Bhuj, the Bhujanga Naga Temple is visited by thousands of devotees for Nag Puja.
If you are interested in watching the Nag Panchmi festivities and would like to travel to any of the Naga or Shiva temples on this occasion, redBus can take you to the desired destination comfortably. Booking a bus ticket online through redBus is the quickest and easiest. Download the redBus app now or visit redBus, India website to book your tickets and participate in Nag Panchami festivities.
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